Luckily, pay transparency is becoming more normalized. In my personal opinion, the topic of money is one we should talk more about.
1. "I'm a nurse with a master's in nursing and two certifications (critical care and hospital quality). I did eight years of bedside care before taking this job four years ago. I work in the legal department reviewing medical malpractice cases for our hospital. I just got a raise to $92,500."
2. "My day job as a dining employee at a university dining hall, I make approximately $15/hour, which equals about $27K a year. I do this for summers off, long Christmas breaks, and a state-funded retirement account. On the side, I buy things at estate sales — antiques, collectibles — and sell them online, where I can make an extra $30K–$60K a year."
—A, 33-year-old, Indiana
3. "I work as a social worker for Child Protective Services. My task area is family reunification. Once children are removed from a home, we help the parents and children receive the services they need to be able to reunify — mental health services, domestic violence prevention, parenting classes, and the alcoholics anonymous program. I make $42K a year and have a bachelor's degree."
4. "I’m a supervisor in prior authorizations for an insurance plan management company. I have a master's degree in social work and am licensed as a clinical social worker (another two years of training). I live in Arizona and make $88,600 plus a 6% bonus."
5. "I'm a newly hired US Foreign Service Officer. We do a variety of jobs, but mine is to help Americans overseas if they need a new passport, are hospitalized, or get into any trouble. I also interview local people to determine whether they qualify for visas to travel to the US to engage in work, study, or tourism. I earn a little over $106,000 a year, plus I get free housing and utilities. Not bad work if you can get it."
6. "I’m in customer success/program management for a tech startup in the cybersecurity industry. I make 85,000 pounds, which equaled over six figures in dollars when I lived in the US."
7. 'I'm a research associate for a biotech [company] that does cancer research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. My baseline salary is $76,500, but I get a 10%–15% bonus at the beginning of the year — after reviews, making my earnings more in the $85,000 range."
8. "I'm a treasurer for two school districts. I have an associate's degree and make $60K in upstate New York."
9. "I'm a senior account manager in sales — mainly business-to-business commodity sales. I'm commission based this year, and I’ll make $300K, but in 2020 I only made $51K, so it can vary a lot."
—Courtney, 32, NY
10. "I'm an HR assistant and earn just under $25,000/year. It's not too bad for me, but I always have to watch what I spend and am grateful for my partner also earning about the same."
11. "I'm a hospice social worker in the Midwest. I'm 18 years in the field with a master's degree and am making a little above $60K."
12. "I'm an occupational medicine physician. I see patients for work injuries and physicals. Pay varies depending on the bonus. The base salary is $280,000. The bonus is between $20,000 and $50,000."
13. "I have a bachelor's degree in animal science. I work as a packaging manager for a large food production company. I order and manage all of the packaging material inventory for various facilities where our food products are produced. It's a lot of spreadsheets and meetings, and I earn $72,500."
14. "I'm a history teacher in the Northeast. Due to the pandemic and lack of teachers, I was hired without completing my college degree (don't worry, I'm a good teacher). I make $56K a year."
15. "I’m in marketing for a global manufacturing company. This is my first 'real job' after college — five months out — but I have my bachelor's and MBA. I make about $71,000."
16. "I’m a bartender in Pittsburgh. Working just three days a week, sometimes four, I make about $75,000 a year, not including some extra cash. It really does make me regret spending four years and thousands of dollars on a degree that would pay me less for more of my time."
17. "I'm a clinical forensic psychologist. I work in a hospital for individuals with severe mental illness who are court-ordered to the hospital either because they were found not guilty by reason of insanity, or they were charged with a crime but their mental illness impacts their ability to participate in their defense and ultimately their right to a fair trial. Or they served a prison sentence but were deemed a danger to themselves or their community and paroled to the hospital rather than the community. My job includes providing individual and group therapy, assessing for violence and suicide risk, helping patients learn healthier coping tools, helping patients plan for discharge, and helping them manage day-to-day stressors. I’m also involved in a number of committees at the hospital that focuses on improving treatment and daily living for our patients. I make about $130,000 a year."
18. "I'm a pediatric formula and breast milk tech. For $16.50 an hour, I prepare formula and breast milk for kids and babies. I also get to field questions from nurses that could've easily been answered if they would just get up and look."
19. "I'm a veterinary receptionist and vet tech in the Bay Area. Mostly I answer phones and run the office (including ordering things and making sure my doctor runs on time). I make $25 an hour, and that's because I am SUPER lucky. My boss is awesome, and we're an absolutely TINY clinic. I know full-blown registered vet techs who make less than me."
20. "I work in Arkansas. I’m a revenue cycle manager for a mid-size healthcare agency. I make $60K per year. I manage a billing and collection team that creates bills and tracks medical claims throughout the billing process."
21. "I'm a dental assistant with an X-ray cert and 16 years of experience. I make about $43K a year, and I work in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio."
22. "I work in Michigan, in community mental health as a case manager, and I make $24.09 an hour. Pay may not be the best, but because I work for my county, I have health, vision, and dental insurance for myself and my family."
23. "I'm a senior HRIS analyst for an entertainment company. I, along with my team, perform system maintenance, testing, and implementation of upgrades or fixes to Workday. I make $80K annually."
—L, 29, Missouri